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Kinzinger continues wowing the news media

Friday, Jan 29, 2021

* I saw somebody say somewhere that it was almost like US Rep. Adam Kinzinger was created in a laboratory to run statewide in 2022. This WaPo profile is quite something

In 2006, Kinzinger encountered another heightened moment. On a night out in Milwaukee, he and his girlfriend were walking along a street full of popular bars and restaurants after dinner with a friend. Suddenly they heard a woman screaming, “He cut my throat! He cut my throat!” The woman, clutching her neck, looked to Kinzinger for help as her boyfriend held the bloody knife.

“I remember going to thoughts of, ‘If I watch her die, I can’t live with myself for the rest of my life,’ ” he says. “But the second thought was, ‘If I fight him, I’m going to die.’ ” […]

He had been worried about violence in the District for weeks. Kinzinger tracks conspiracy theory-addled online chatter and grew concerned about the rhetoric at Trump’s post-election rallies. He told his staff to work remotely the day of the certification vote and advised his wife, a communications staffer for Vice President Mike Pence whom he married last year, to stay home. Kinzinger has a permit to carry a concealed weapon in the District, but almost never brings his gun to the Capitol. That day, he did.

Taking a break from the proceedings, Kinzinger left the House floor, returned to his office and started seeing incoming messages on Twitter: “@RepKinzinger we’re coming for you,” said one. “Tell us where you are right now,” said another. “I hope you know what’s coming.”

“He’s very collaborative, very expeditious,” says Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), with whom Kinzinger co-sponsored legislation to provide funding for European allies to invest in more secure telecom infrastructure. “I think he knows his own mind and that’s really helpful. He’s very adroit.”

* And while some on the far right call him a Republican In Name Only, Kinzinger is deftly turning that RINO moniker around on them

More recently he has criticized freshman Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who has espoused false conspiracy theories involving QAnon and mass school shootings and has used social media to support violence against Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“She is not a Republican. There are many who claim the title of Republican and have nothing in common with our core values. They are RINOS. She is a RINO,” Kinzinger said […]

“I think in six months it’s not going to be necessarily the party of Donald Trump. But this is the whole point: I do think we are in a battle, that it may be a battle that really needs to happen, for our party to say what is it we stand for now when it comes to policy. But as much as anything, are we aspirational or are we a party that feeds on fear and division?” Kinzinger said.

“If you’re a leader of the Republican Party right now, you need to be focused on one thing — not winning another election, that’s not what we should be focused on right now. What we should be focused on is restoring the integrity of this party,” he said.

* Ouch…


* But he’s also trying to maintain his ideological conservative street cred…


* And he recently took a poke at the governor…


I’m assuming that the Democrats will give him the best possible district to encourage him to run for reelection instead of governor or US Senator. But he may not want to stay in the US House after all this.

Obviously, the man knows how to throw a punch, so don’t count him out in either the primary or the general. If he runs for governor, though, I would imagine the Democratic Governors Association will double-down on its 2018 primary strategy and run ads aimed at Republicans claiming he’s not right-wing enough. Because if he gets out of that primary, he’s going to have a heck of a story to tell Illinoisans...

Rep. Adam Kinzinger is willing to lose his seat over his vote to impeach then-President Donald Trump, the Illinois Republican told CNN’s David Axelrod during an episode of “The Axe Files” podcast released Thursday.

“I did it knowing full well it could very well be terminal to my career,” Kinzinger said of his vote. “But I also knew that I couldn’t live with myself having, you know, try to just protect it and just felt like the one time I was called to do a really tough duty, I didn’t do it.”

People eat that stuff up.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

53 Comments
  1. - Almost the weekend - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 11:46 am:

    Factor in Priztker team not realizing how favorable the headwinds were in 2018 at the state and federal level in Illinois with Rauner and Trump the incumbents. If they are too late to the game this cycle, like with the graduated income tax, it’s going to be too late once the 2022 primary is over.

    Priztker still has time to turn it around, but he has a record to run on now. He’s accomplished quite a bit, but recently he’s had a rough go.


  2. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 11:51 am:

    Do a majority of IL GOP primary voters want to be the party of Kinzinger and not the party of Trump?

    I am not sure. The Kinzinger-ish candidate in the 2016 primary for prez in IL (John Kasich) only got 20% of the vote. Trump and Cruz combined got 2/3 of the vote.

    I just know I am not looking forward to Matt Gaetz showing up in our state to campaign against Kinzinger the way he recently did in Wyoming against Liz Cheney.


  3. - Annoin' - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 11:54 am:

    Give him a favorable district. Huh?
    Most are hoping to pair him up Darren or Rodney


  4. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 11:54 am:

    Hello, Rep. Kinzinger.

    I’m paying attention.

    I’m paying attention, keep rolling.

    Oswego Willy


  5. - 1st Ward - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 11:55 am:

    “I think in six months it’s not going to be necessarily the party of Donald Trump.”

    Matt Gaetz traveling to Wyoming yesterday to bash Liz Chaney and McCarthy wanting Trump to be involved in the 2022 election cycle doesn’t bold well that this all goes away in 6 months.

    I think he knows he is done in the house with the current district and is deciding about US Senator or Governor. Why continue to do all of these media appearances with alot of mainstream lean-left outlets that the Trumpists hate? If his plans are to stay in the house he votes to impeach releases a statement and does one interview and goes silent for awhile. He is being too loud to not be looking at something bigger.


  6. - NIU Grad - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 11:56 am:

    I would say my money is still on Senate, because he seems like the kind of guy that still wants to stay in DC…but I think he would have an easier time against Pritzker compared to Duckworth.


  7. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 12:02 pm:

    Now to the post,

    I wrote this a whole back to a post Rich had up;

    === - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 11, 21 @ 10:37 am

    === But Kinzinger went so far out on a limb on Trump (even calling for his removal from office) that he may have seriously damaged his chances of winning a statewide primary. And even if he does win that round, a significant chunk of his party’s base might angrily choose to skip over him in a general election.===

    It reminds me of Rauner in only this context;

    Barely got out of the primary, lost the base in the General, his opponent already cornered the market on the moderate view.

    In short, no constituency.

    Great read, Rich, context to things, on point.

    To the post, Kinzinger, a take,

    I need to reconcile that Kinzinger, when it mattered, he voted with Trump 90% of the time, and come to terms when Kinzinger had the chance to impeach, Adam Kinzinger voted against impeaching Donald Trump.

    That’s on me to reconcile, that’s on me to put in a context to what I not only applaud from January 6th, and from Kinzinger’s own interview I saw where he, paraphrasing, was fine if it costs him his seat in Congress standing up now as he is.

    I’ve said, Kinzinger has my curiosity.

    How does he get my attention? Shouldn’t he already have it, the first and lone (for quite a while) voice in Congress to call for the president’s removal or resignation? Should that make me give Kinzinger attention?

    To these times, Kinzinger does. I’ve applauded, I’m heartened.

    To the future, well, Rich says this best, why try to change it;

    === One should never make predictions during times of massive upheaval and change, so let’s not anoint him yet. Plus, we’ve all seen politicians rise like rockets only to fall like meteors. And I’ve seen plenty of very solid, hard-working candidates fail simply because they lived in the “wrong” district or state.

    With that being said, Kinzinger has a sharp wit and obviously knows how to land a hard punch.===

    If Kinzinger wants my attention beyond these dark day and the dark days ahead… and towards 2022… not only “more” like these days after January 6th, more towards a rebuild that means dismantling and disavowing the actions and actors that enabled, prodded, and applauded insurrection in DC, and promote division, regionalism, and monolithic thinking to policy and race in Illinois.

    That will keep my attention. That will have a great deal of my attention.

    The rest is up to Adam===

    Kinzinger has my attention now.

    So much for me, as I write above, to reconcile, so much for Kinzinger to sort too.

    I want to see, hear, more from Kinzinger, but the reconciliation I may need can wait, for the moment, as Kinzinger sets the table, and I’ll wait for that table and food to be served.


  8. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 12:25 pm:

    I do not believe that Adam Kinzinger could win a GOP primary. This is the party of Jeanne Ives and Jim Oberweis and Darren Bailey.

    As to the state, that Tweet was noteworthy in that it is the first tweet I’ve ever seen from him on state issues. And you can tell he’s a bit out of practice. Maybe next time he’ll learn how to spell the governor’s last name.


  9. - Soapbox Derby - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 12:30 pm:

    All that nice national press won’t help Kinzinger win an Illinois statewide Primary.


  10. - Publius - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 12:33 pm:

    I would vote for Kinzinger in the general election just to prove his point. That is as long as he keeps this up.


  11. - Responsa - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 12:34 pm:

    The more that Illinois Dems and national media fawn over Adam the harder will be his road as a unifying R. in Illinois– and the harder it will be for him to keep his head on straight. I cautiously align with those who say Kinzinger’s talents and future are in D.C. rather than state politics. He is a well spoken schmoozer, analyst, and a deal maker (not meant as criticisms) more than a public policy administrator.


  12. - John Lopez - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 12:36 pm:

    I think after 6 terms, and now a newlywed for the 1st time in his life in his early 40s and wife no longer working for VP, I think he’ll run for governor. If so, he needs to weigh-in on the race for state party chairman. And who would run w/ Kinzinger for Lt. Gov?


  13. - Thomas Paine - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 12:38 pm:

    1. Kinzinger is making a sales pitch, the sales pitch is to Ken Griffin and other business leaders in Chicago.

    2. There is a shift in the definition of “moderate Republican” now; used to be someone who held a mainstream position on guns, abortion or gay rights. Now, it is someone who does not back a white, nationalist insurrectionist to lead the country.

    3. First impressions matter.

    4. In the coming months, Kinzinger is going to get to vote on the entire Biden agenda before the US House, everything from minimum wage and climte change to COVID relief and immigration reform. Every vote by Kinzinger will be scrutinized.

    5. Kinzinger has a limited amount of time to bake in a first impression as a “moderate” with a new audence while maintaining his image as a “conservative” with the party base, all while Pritzker and whatever allies he can engage try to muck him up.

    6. In some ways it is a replay of Quinn-Rauner, if Quinn had unlimited money and Rauner had a voting record.


  14. - Arsenal - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 12:44 pm:

    Kinzinger’s conspicuous anti-Trump position is certainly a risk in a Republican primary, but you can sorta envision a 2022 electorate that has moved on from Trump.


  15. - Interested observer - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 12:47 pm:

    “And who would run w/ Kinzinger for Lt. Gov?” Erika Harold would be interesting.


  16. - John Lopez - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 12:49 pm:

    Interested Observer, I was thinking Sue Rezin assuming she is not in a favorable new congressional district.


  17. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 12:51 pm:

    ===Erika Harold===

    She has yet to win… anything

    Terrible choice.


  18. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 12:52 pm:

    === assuming she is not in a favorable new congressional district.===

    Foster, Underwood, Casten all will be protected.


  19. - OneMan - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 12:54 pm:

    I suspect part of his hope in the primary would be there would be multiple candidates running on the ‘I love Trump more’ platform, get 2 or 3 of those guys there is enough left to win with. IMHO


  20. - Hot Taeks - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 12:59 pm:

    I think Rep. Kinzinger vastly benefits from the bar being drastically lowered for GOP politicians just by being sane. That’s how badly damaged the discourse has fallen recently. MAGA followers are really mad and would be hell-bent on him not winning a GOP Primary. Also, he’d still be a heavy underdog vs. Pritzker or Duckworth in 2022 if he makes it to the General.


  21. - ZC - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 1:01 pm:

    Though I’m not sure though what the best district for Kinzinger to run for reelection in, looks like.

    If you make it blood-red Republican, that’s begging for a primary challenger to oust him.


  22. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 1:01 pm:

    === there would be multiple candidates running on the ‘I love Trump more’ platform, get 2 or 3 of those guys there is enough left to win with. IMHO===

    Concur on all points.

    How many are going to be like Kinzinger to Trump, how many in a primary are going to pull a R ballot to vote anti-Trump with one candidate like Kinzinger?


  23. - Electric Lemonade - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 1:04 pm:

    Kinzinger has a lot of pros
    - modern day equivalent of a “moderate” GOP for having broken from Trump
    - military record and great photos of him as Top Gun pilot
    - photogenic and very media savvy

    Running against Pritzker for Gov
    - there are about a billion reasons for Kinzinger not to run for Gov and go for the Senate
    - but he probably matches up better politically against Pritzker than he does against Duckworth


  24. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 1:05 pm:

    As someone who has voted pretty much straight dem in the last couple decades, I’d vote for him for governor. JB can’t successfully follow through on things illinois desperately needs (like the fair tax), can’t fix glaring problems in his own administration (like IDES), and screws up the same things he criticized his predecessor for (like the veterans home outbreak). I’m gonna need a whole bunch of convincing to back JB again if Kinzinger is his opponent.


  25. - dbk - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 1:07 pm:

    As others noted above, we’ll have to see if he survives the coming bloodbath between Trumps’s loyalists and opponents. That’s far from certain.

    Re: that tweet where he misspelled the Gov’s name, that’s actually a topic that’s worth bringing up with Pritzker in a presser. I know what his answer will be, but that answer is wrong.


  26. - Louis G Atsaves - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 1:09 pm:

    Perhaps Republicans should worry about their party in the future and not Democrats? I don’t see any fumigation of Madiganistas in the Democratic Party of Illinois this year unless I’m missing something./snark


  27. - Demoralized - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 1:11 pm:

    ==Every health dept. across IL has a different vaccine registration process & form. What a mess.==

    Which is exactly why a federal response should have been in order. The vaccine debacle is a failure of the federal government.


  28. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 1:11 pm:

    === Madiganistas in the Democratic Party of Illinois this year===

    While snark, insurrection of the United States should be fumigated from any party, as well as white supremacy. Trumpkins seem to be fine with both, Kinzinger has a big problem with that element in the party.


  29. - Soapbox Derby - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 1:14 pm:

    I’m laughing reading all the Dems on this thread commenting on Kinzinger’s viability in a GOP primary. Doubt any of them would vote for him in the General Election.


  30. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 1:22 pm:

    == Perhaps Republicans should worry about their party in the future ==

    Y’all should be worried about it now, considering it’s become a haven of domestic terrorists and nazi sympathizers


  31. - Pundent - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 1:23 pm:

    The challenge for Kinzinger is if he continues to be an anomaly as 1 of only 10 Republicans that voted for impeachment he’ll have no future in the party. And if he is at the beginning of a wave of other Republicans denouncing Trump it will lose it’s noteworthiness. I hope it’s the latter as it would signify that the party at both the state and national level is ready to move on from the last four years.


  32. - Big fan - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 1:33 pm:

    With Ken Griffen money Kinzinger could make short work of JB.


  33. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 1:52 pm:

    == With Ken Griffen money ==

    As an aside, anyone else notice Griffin and Citadel have become public enemy #1 on the wallstreetbets Reddit page after yesterday’s RobinHood fiasco? I don’t know if Kinzinger is going to want to take his money before all this is over.


  34. - Norseman - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 1:57 pm:

    Kinzinger is a comparative hero. He’s only a hero in comparison to the corrupt colleagues and party members who sought to destroy our democracy or refuse to take action to defend it. That gives him favorable status with respect to a choice among GOP contenders. Otherwise, as noted by OW, his record has been strongly pro Trump.

    While he can take pot shots at the Covid efforts of state and local officials, he has not been outspoken in support sufficient funding for state and local public health agencies to effectively respond. Where has he been in condemning the efforts of Bailey and other GOP politicians who choose to undermine mitigation efforts? Kinzinger and a few others stand out among the GOP, but we deserve better. We deserve leaders who will consistently do the right thing.


  35. - truthteller - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 2:04 pm:

    the saving grace of this guy is he one of only a handful of republicans that apparently have any guts to stand up to trump at this point while being in office, the other 99% too cowardly to do so


  36. - The Ford Lawyer - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 2:07 pm:

    I dunno. Sometimes I wonder how alone I really am as a Jim Edgar type Republican in an Eastern Bloc district. The Republicans have gotten blown out in the suburbs in recent years. While there may be some dropoff for a more moderate candidate Baileyland, the math, at least as an intellectual exercise, seems to support trying for a bigger share of the suburban Cook and collar vote.


  37. - Just Me 2 - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 2:12 pm:

    ===I’m assuming that the Democrats will give him the best possible district to encourage him to run for reelection instead of governor or US Senator.===

    A great argument to reform our redistricting process. Party officials shouldn’t be able to carve up maps to generate a pre-selected outcome.


  38. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 2:21 pm:

    ===a Jim Edgar type Republican in an Eastern Bloc district===

    Ironically, that’s where Jim Edgar is from.


  39. - TKMH - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 2:26 pm:

    Kinzinger, while honorable and courageous in his opposition to Trump, stands to lose against Ives in the 2022 gubernatorial primary–and badly.


  40. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 2:27 pm:

    First, I feel for ya - The Ford Lawyer -. I truly do. Hang in there, or wait and see, these next 6-8 months, the party might implode altogether and then the worry you have will dissipate. Good luck

    ===Ironically, that’s where Jim Edgar is from.===

    As a party, the mere fact Edgar would be an anomaly today to where he once was the standard, “who are we” is a fair question when facts, honesty to those facts, and the blatant hate or region, with overt racism in the mix… can you say this new standard in the Eastern Bloc is better fir the region, the state… better for the party?

    I’m with Edgar, as always.

    Edgar used “they” not “we”

    Can Kinzinger make Edgar use “we” again?

    Dunno.


  41. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 2:32 pm:

    ===… stands to lose against Ives in the 2022 gubernatorial primary–and badly.===

    I guessing, and I don’t know, Kinzinger if he runs, is counting on a repeat kinda run of the 2006 Republican primary. Topinka prevailed; a crowded primary, other candidates eating into each other’s constituencies, Kinzinger winning without 50%.

    “We’ll see”


  42. - Biker - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 2:48 pm:

    I believe the moment has passed where we cheerlead the worst of the other side of the aisle to make the general election in hopes of assuring victory for our side at any cost. Kinzinger is a decent man. The answer to the question “but what if we lose?” can’t be “we won’t lose!” anymore. Because we did, and it was terrible.


  43. - 96Illini - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 2:56 pm:

    ==I think he knows he is done in the house with the current district and is deciding about US Senator or governor==

    He should definitely go for Senator. Silly me to think I had no use for this guy!


  44. - levivotedforjudy - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 2:59 pm:

    The Dems better hope that the GOP does them a huge favor and primaries AK. He has the resume and bearing to be the new standard bearer for the IL GOP. And he is really, really young in politician years.


  45. - Augie - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 3:08 pm:

    I respect Kinzingers standing up against Trump, and the extremists that are about to take total control of the GOP, but in the end he voted with Trump 90% of the time. That will be pounded into voters heads once a campaign starts, in a state where Trump still is not popular overall.


  46. - Donnie Elgin - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 3:16 pm:

    = but in the end he voted with Trump 90% of the time=

    I see that claim all the time - look at the data from five thirty-eight. Kinzinger is actually near the bottom of all GOP House members with that 90%. It should also be pointed out that many of Trups “votes” were just typical GOP stuff like lower taxes, stronger immigration laws, the defense spending bill, the first step criminal justice bill and the like.


  47. - BCOSEC - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 3:17 pm:

    The consensus here seems:

    Kinzinger has the best shot of any R to beat JB in 2022.

    A Trumpist cannot beat JB in 2022.

    Kinzinger cannot head to head beat a Trumpist in the R guv primary in 2022.

    Weird, wild stuff.


  48. - City Guy - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 3:45 pm:

    I appreciate Kinzinger standing up to Trump but it is too little, too late. One way he annoyed me is his handling of the first impeachment. He voted against it and said “Ignoring the right of due process, as my colleagues have done, ignores past precedent for impeachment in favor of a highly partisan, politically driven process.” With these words he dismissed the serious nature of Trump asking a foreign country to provide dirt on a political opponent as just the Dems playing politics. He also conveniently ignored the Republican game playing to avoid a true hearing of the evidence. It was this type of enabling that allowed events to spiral out of control in January.

    I also want to comment that I agree with Thomas Paine’s comment 100%


  49. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 3:47 pm:

    - BCOSEC -

    I’ll only say, “statewide” is where I see Kinzinger.

    He already can raise money with a account designed for federal races…


  50. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 3:50 pm:

    === Kinzinger is actually near the bottom of all GOP House members with that 90%. It should also be pointed out that many of Trups “votes” were just typical GOP stuff like lower taxes, stronger immigration laws, the defense spending bill, the first step criminal justice bill and the like.===

    Narrator: voters don’t do nuance


  51. - Amalia - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 4:21 pm:

    Kinzinger is a NARAL zero. He is a danger to women’s reproductive choices.


  52. - Todd - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 4:33 pm:

    Kinzinger has peed down the backs of gun owners and tried to tell them its raining hes gonna have a rough go of it


  53. - Cable Line Beer Gardener - Friday, Jan 29, 21 @ 4:44 pm:

    I live in his district and did not vote for him. He is nothing but lip service (which I remind him of everyday). If he really cared about his constituents why not actually try and help? instead of taking Pritzker to task why not say “what can I do to help”. Just like every other republican all he has is grievances and no original ideas to help.


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